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Tunis: Arab play on Dante’s Inferno

Tunisi: spettacolo arabeggiante racconta Inferno di Dante

The Italian Cultural Institute in Tunis is continuing to celebrate Dante Alighieri’s life and works by staging an original play on the Inferno of the Divine Comedy by the Tunisian director Hafedh Khalifa.

This new staging of the play is set to premiere on 11 March at the Theatre of Regions in Tunis’ City of Culture. Khalifa imagines Dante in the Inferno but instead of being accompanied by Virgil, he is with the Arab poet Abu al-Ma’arri, in a dreamlike journey to reflect on the complex nature of humans being, capable of committing atrocities but also noble gestures. Al-Ma’arri, a scholar born in Syria in 973 AD, was known for his poetic virtuosity and his pessimistic view of the world.

Tunisian director Khalifa decided to stage a play that combines the genius Dante and the Arab culture, with excerpts from “The Epistle of Forgiveness” by poet Abu al-Ma’arri. The play was prepared thanks to contributions by Mario Ferrari, who designed and made the costumes, and Luca Bruni of the dance company Oplas – Centro Regionale della Danza Umbria for the choreography, together with the Tunisian artists Lassaad Hassine, playwright, and Zyed Trabelsi for the music.